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Old 28 Jun 2001, 13:26 (Ref:110733)   #1
TimD
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"Sabipa"

A driver who flits into my field of research in a manner I doubt he would have approved of.

He is reported to be the fellow who crashed a Bugatti during the 1930 GP de l'ACF, and was narrowly missed by Tim Birkin's Bentley as he lay in the road.

But I've heard the pseudonym before. Who was "Sabipa"? What was his real name, and why the soubriquet?
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Old 28 Jun 2001, 14:38 (Ref:110747)   #2
Darren Galpin
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"Sabipa" (F)
b 1890
Real name was Jean Charaval
1926 - Won Italian GP (Bugatti T39A)
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Old 28 Jun 2001, 14:40 (Ref:110749)   #3
Michael M
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Scanned my archive, and found "Sabipa" also for the 1926 Italian GP (Bugatti 39A, winner, only one other finisher), at at Le Mans 1928 (Itala 65S together with Christian, DNF), 1932 (Alfa Romeo 6C 1750, together with Mme. Odette Siko, 4th place), and 1933 (same car, same co-driver, DNF). The Le Mans files show also his true name, Louis Charaval, whereas other sources say "Charavel".
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Old 28 Jun 2001, 15:01 (Ref:110754)   #4
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'Sabipa' - real name Louis Charavel. Winner 1926 Italian GP in his private Bugatti. As for why the sobriquet, I have no idea.
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Old 28 Jun 2001, 16:09 (Ref:110770)   #5
Michael M
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The match "Charavel" v/s "Charaval" is now 2:2, any referee around?
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Old 28 Jun 2001, 19:01 (Ref:110846)   #6
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From Georgano Encyclopaedia of Motor Sport (Article by TASO Mathieson)

Louis Charavel (Sabipa)

Charavel, or Sabipa as he was usually called, was born in the South of France in 1890, and started racing in 1920 when he finshed 4th in the Cyclecar GP at Le Mans in a Weler. The following year he bought a Bugatti which he drove in minor events for the next four years. In 1925 he drove in the 12 Hour Touring Car GP at San Sebastian, winning the 1500cc class single-handed. He was a member of the Bugatti works team in the 1926 Italian GP at Monza which he won, and in the 1927 Targa Florio he had a lucky escape when he skidded in avoiding a large boulder in the road, and ended up in a garden 50 feet below, quite unhurt. He had another lucky escape in the 1930 French GP at Pau when he overturned and was thrown out into the road, to be narrowly missed by Birkin's Bentley which was following close behind. During this period he was mostly to be seen at the wheel of Bugatti cars, although for the 1928 Le Mans race he drove an Itala, finishing 8th. His last appearances in competition were at Le Mans in 1932 and 1933, when he drove an Alfa Romeo with Mme. Siko; they finished 4th in 1932.
Charavel acquired his pseudonym of Sabipa when in response to a journalist's question he answered in Provencal dialect "Sabe pas" (I don't know)
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